Clotting Factor Deficiencies in Children: Care Instructions

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Your Care Instructions

Blood vessel

Clotting factors are substances in the blood that help stop bleeding after a cut or injury. They also prevent sudden bleeding. In people who have clotting factor problems, the clotting factors do not work right or, in some cases, are missing. When blood does not clot well, even minor injuries can cause serious bleeding. This can lead to blood loss, injury to internal organs, or damage to muscles or joints.

Several conditions, including hemophilia, can make it hard for the blood to clot. Your doctor can treat your child with replacement clotting factors. Your child also may take medicine to prevent bleeding. Your child may often have clotting factors transfused into a vein to prevent bleeding, or he or she may get them as needed.

You may eventually learn to do this at home. You and your child can also try to prevent injuries that can cause bleeding.

Follow-up care is a key part of your child's treatment and safety. Be sure to make and go to all appointments, and call your doctor or nurse call line if your child is having problems. It's also a good idea to know your child's test results and keep a list of the medicines your child takes.

How can you care for your child at home?

  • Have your child take medicines exactly as prescribed. Call your doctor or nurse call line if you think your child is having a problem with his or her medicine.
  • Encourage your child to exercise safely. Avoid contact sports. Your child can swim or walk. Check with your doctor before letting your child do activities—such as riding a bike—that may put your child at high risk for falls.
  • Have your child brush and floss his or her teeth daily. This may help your child avoid problems that could lead to having a tooth pulled.
  • Do not give your child non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), such as ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin) or naproxen (Aleve). They can increase the chance of bleeding.
  • Give pain medicines exactly as directed.
    • If the doctor gave your child a prescription medicine for pain, give it as prescribed.
    • If your child is not taking a prescription pain medicine, ask your doctor if your child can take an over-the-counter medicine.
  • Take care to prevent injuries at home.
    • Make sure rugs are tacked down so your child does not slip.
    • Keep furniture with sharp edges out of pathways.
    • Use non-skid floor wax.
    • Wipe up spills quickly.
    • If you live in an area that gets snow and ice in the winter, sprinkle salt on steps and sidewalks.
    • Make sure your child's shoes are not too big, so that your child does not fall.
  • Have your child wear medical alert jewellery that lists the clotting problem.

When should you call for help?

Call 911 anytime you think your child may need emergency care. For example, call if:

  • Your child passes out (loses consciousness).
  • Your child has a head injury.
  • Your child has sudden, severe pain, especially in a joint.
  • Your child has a sudden, severe headache that is different from past headaches.

Call your doctor or nurse call line now or seek immediate medical care if:

  • Your child is dizzy or light-headed.
  • You are unable to stop bleeding by giving your child clotting factors after an injury.
  • Your child has an injury, but you are not sure whether your child needs treatment.
  • Your child has any abnormal bleeding, such as:
    • Nosebleeds.
    • Bloody or black stools, or rectal bleeding.
    • Bloody or pink urine.

Watch closely for changes in your child's health, and be sure to contact your doctor or nurse call line if:

  • Your child has joint pain or swelling.

Where can you learn more?

Go to http://www.healthwise.net/ed

Enter I285 in the search box to learn more about "Clotting Factor Deficiencies in Children: Care Instructions."

Current as of: February 5, 2016